143 countries, more than 16 600 clubs, more than 357 000 members – it is not easy to keep track of what’s happening in the Toastmasters world, without a face-to-face training of the leaders. Networking, exchanging the best practice and motivating the district leaders by meeting in an exotic place – makes mid-year training and event worth waiting for. This time, it was Kuala Lumpur, 8 districts from Europe, Region 10 and 8 districts from Asia Region 13 (India, Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc ). Districts located far away, but with exactly the same challenges: member retention, corporate clubs, participation in club officers training, members’ commitments and so on…
We discussed our mission, our strategy, our values, where we are at the middle of our term and where we would like to be at June 30th. What is our legacy and how can we together face our challenges and serve our members at outstanding level.
Gabriela Roivainen:What I’ve learnt during this two days intensive trainings is that although we might feel that we face problems that no one else faced before in the history of human kind, although we might feel that we don’t know all the answers, although we might feel that we don’t do enough, we are growing every day with every challenge, with every fulfilled task, with every member that we can support and every award that they won.
What I’ve learnt is that small gestures and kind words can change the people’s life and I am continuously mesmerized how this “secret organization” can have such a huge influence on every leader that invest his or her time in it and on every member that actively participate in the program. The stories that I’ve heard, people that I’ve met, the values that we’ve shared, makes me more and more convinced that I am doing the right thing, investing my time in activities where I can make a difference.
The third thing that I’ve realized during the mid-year training, when I could compare ourselves with other districts, is that I am part of an amazing team, where we have created a supportive and trustworthy environment, where we can be ourselves and know that as long we have the service of our member in mind, we can reach any goals, together!
Piotr Chimko: Mid-year training for me is similar to the winter round of officer’s training, when you have a 12-month term. You already know the role, you tried yourself in several situations and now you would like to know how to make things better to finish your term successfully. And in Kuala Lumpur I got exactly that. Some extra, advanced knowledge, a lot of inspiration from the trainers and even more from the other district leaders from Europe and Asia. It’s amazing to see how on one hand we have similar problems and on the other hand how differently we approach them. The greatest value in Toastmasters is always learning and applying your learnings. I came back with my head full of ideas. And there’s never enough time to test them all. So I carefully selected one or two which I think will work best in our environment.
Elena Pawęta:I found the mid-year training in KL really valuable for the future development of our district. Apart from the valuable insights we got from our International Directors and CEO Dan Rex, I really enjoyed spending time with colleagues from other districts. Discussions between and after the sessions, sharing experiences, getting useful tips from other districtleaders made the training even more valuable and exciting.